Getting Started Self Assessment

Getting Started: Building the Foundation
Self Assessment
Read each statement in the second column and determine which statement best
describes your school at this moment in time.
Mission: Is it evident that learning for all is our core purpose?
Pre-Initiation Stage
No effort has been made to engage faculty in identifying what
they want students to learn. School personnel view the mission
of the school as teaching rather than learning. They operate
from the assumption that although all students should have the
opportunity to learn, responsibility for learning belongs to the
individual student and will be determined by his or her ability
and effort.
Initiation Stage
An attempt has been made to clarify the purpose of the school
through the development of a formal mission statement. Few
people were involved in its creation.It does little to impact
professional practice or the assumptions behind those
practices. A process has been initiated to provide greater focus
and clarity regarding the mission of learning for all. Steps are
being taken to clarify what, specifically, students are to learn
and to monitor their learning. Some teachers are concerned
that these efforts will deprive them of academic freedom.
Developing Stage
Teachers are beginning to see evidence of the benefits of
clearly established expectations for student learning and
systematic processes to monitor student learning. They are
becoming more analytical in assessing the evidence of student
learning and are looking for ways to become more effective in
assessing student learning and providing instruction to
enhance student learning.
Sustaining Stage
Staff members are committed to helping all students learn.
They demonstrate that commitment by working collaboratively
to clarify what students are to learn in each unit, creating
frequent common formative assessments to monitor each
student’s learning on an ongoing basis, and implementing a
systematic plan of intervention when students experience
difficulty. They are willing to examine all practices and
procedures in light of their impact on learning.
Shared Vision: Do we know what we are trying to create?
Pre-Initiation Stage
No effort has been made to engage staff in describing the
preferred conditions for the school.
Initiation Stage
A formal vision statement has been created for the school,but
most staff members are unaware of it.
Developing Stage
Staff members have participated in a process to clarify the
school they are trying to create, and leadership calls attention
to the resulting vision statement on a regular basis. Many staff
members question the relevance of the vision statement, and
their behavior is generally unaffected by it.
Sustaining Stage
Staff members have worked together to describe the school
are trying to create. They have endorsed this general
description and use it to guide their school improvement efforts
and their professional development. Staff members can and do
routinely articulate the major principles of the school’s shared
vision and use those principles to guide their day-to-day efforts
and decisions. They honestly assess the current reality in their
school and continually seek more effective strategies for
reducing the discrepancy between that reality and the school
they are working to create.
Shared Values: How must we behave to advance our vision?
Pre-Initiation Stage
Staff members have not yet articulated the attitudes,
behaviors, or commitments they are prepared to demonstrate
in order to advance the mission of learning for all and the
vision of what the school might become.
Initiation Stage
Administrators or a committee of teachers have created
statements of beliefs regarding the school’s purpose and its
direction. Staff members have reviewed and reacted to those
statements. Initial drafts have been amended based on staff
feedback. There is no attempt to translate the beliefs into the
specific commitments or behaviors that staff will model.
Developing Stage
A statement has been developed that articulates the specific
commitments staff have been asked to embrace to help the
school fulfill its purpose and move closer to its vision. The
commitments are stated as behaviors rather than beliefs. Many
staff object to specifying these commitments and prefer to
focus on what other groups must do to improve the school.
Sustaining Stage
Staff members have been engaged in the process to articulate
the collective commitments that will advance the school toward
its vision. They endorse the commitments and seek ways to
bring them to life in the school. The collective commitments are
embraced by staff,
embedded in the school’s culture, and evident to observers of
the school. They help define the school and what it stands for.
Examples of the commitments are shared in stories and
celebrations, and people are challenged when they behave in
ways that are inconsistent with the collective values and
Goals: What are our priorities?
Pre-Initiation Stage
No effort has been made to engage the staff in establishing
school improvement goals related to student learning.
Initiation Stage
Goals for the school have been established by the
administration or school improvement team as part of the
formal district process for school improvement.Most staff would
be unable to articulate a goal that has been established for
their school.
Developing Stage
Staff members have been made aware of the long-term and
short-term goals for the school. Tools and strategies have
been developed and implemented to monitor the school’s
progress toward its goals. Little has been done to translate the
school goal into meaningful targets for either collaborative
teams or individual teachers.The school goal has
been translated into specific goals that directly impact student
achievement for each collaborative team. If teams are
successful in achieving their goals, the school will achieve
its goal as well. Teams are exploring different strategies for
achieving their goals.
Sustaining Stage
All staff members pursue measurable goals that are directly
linked to the school’s goals as part of their routine
responsibilities. Teams work interdependently to achieve
common goals for which members are mutually accountable.
The celebration of the achievement of goals is part of the
school culture and an important element in sustaining the
-adapted from Learning by Doing, Dufour, Dufour, Eaker & Many